The BBC news ticker tells viewers in a live broadcast that “Manchester United is rubbish”.

The words ‘Manchester United are rubbish’ were emblazoned after a technical error in BBC News reporting.

The text appeared for several seconds on the ticker that ran along the bottom of the screen during newscasts during a Tuesday morning bulletin.

The error that surfaced under footage of this year’s French Open has prompted an apology from the BBC News channel.

The broadcaster explained a trainee was learning how to write lyrics for the ticker and inadvertently published the “random” remark on the live show.

News anchor Annita McVeigh, who was hosting the program at the time, said: “A little earlier some of you may have noticed something quite unusual on the ticker that runs at the bottom of the screen with news commenting on Manchester United – and I hope so that Manchester United fans were not offended by that.”

“Let me briefly explain what happened behind the scenes.”

“Someone was training to learn how to use the ticker and write text on the ticker. They just wrote random things – not seriously – and this comment appeared.

“So sorry if you saw that and were offended and you are a Manchester United fan.

“But that was certainly a mistake and shouldn’t have appeared on screen. We just thought we’d better explain it to you.”

A BBC spokesman added: “While training with our test ticker, there was a technical error which spilled over into the live programming for a few seconds. We apologize for any offense caused on the air.”

Today’s events at Old Trafford are unlikely to attract much publicity but the company has been involved in more intense disputes with the club in the past.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson refused to give the broadcaster post-match interviews between 2004 and 2011 after a BBC documentary made allegations against his son Jason. The BBC news ticker tells viewers in a live broadcast that “Manchester United is rubbish”.

Bobby Allyn

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